ELLIOT LAKE— After months of planning, the Elliot Lake 20th annual Bruno's Auto Repair North Shore Challenge Drag Race did not disappoint.
To the roar of powerful engines, the aroma of burning tire rubber and the cheers of the crowd, the North Shore Challenge started day two under sparkling blue skies, accompanied by rising temperatures and humidity.
The event was presented by NAPA Power Sports/NAPA Auto Parts as racers heated up the tarmac at the Elliot Lake Airport Dragway (municipal airport) over the July 19, 20, 21 weekend.
The North Shore Challenge was a two way partnership between the City of Elliot Lake and the North Shore Cruisers Car Club. Drag race categories were Super Pro, Semi-Pro, Snowmobile/Motorcycle, King of Street and Junior Pro.
This year's registration fees were $400 for Super Pro for the weekend through $75 for one day for the Junior Pro. That was an increase from last year but the prizes were higher, too.
There was a $47,000 weekend cash payout which was $12,000 higher than last year. Super Pro top prizes were $10,000 for first place both Saturday and Sunday.
There was also a new Triple Crown purse of up to $5,000 cash for drivers who competed for the Triple Crown Race Series including Elliot Lake, Wawa and Chapleau.
"We are the richest drag race in Canada at the moment," said Elliot Lake Arts and Culture Coordinator Kate Matuszewski. "So we're expecting a lot of drivers to come in this year."
It was the biggest pot in Northern Ontario. Last there were 300 race entries, a figure which has been stable for a few years.